Dear David Douglas Families,
Late last month, we emailed out a survey asking your opinion about possible changes to the times that our schools begin and end each day for the 2018-19 school year. This email also notified families about an informational meeting to discuss
these potential changes.
Unfortunately, we later discovered that there was a technical error and most of those surveys never reached our families. We apologize for this error. We want and need to give our families the opportunity to weigh in on this important decision, and so we are starting over, beginning with this message. We will soon be sending out another survey, and we will hold another community information session to hear your feedback. A timeline can be seen below.
No decisions have been made about start/end times for schools next year. And no decisions will be made until our community members have an opportunity to givetheir opinions.
Background of the why:
This year we slightly adjusted our start/stop times at each level because of a shortage of bus drivers and increased traffic. Unfortunately, this shortage has continued and even worsened and has become a national issue. Our transportation
department has worked hard to condense stops, along with shutting down the department frequently to increase drivers (including using managers, supervisors, mechanics, dispatch). The department cannot sustain this practice. As a result, we need to adjust our start/stop times once again in order to mitigate the low numbers of drivers, high volumes of traffic and added stops that each bus must take on. Additionally, we thought it would be a good opportunity to align with our
neighboring districts and look at research on best practice.
What we have done so far:
1. The District started the input gathering process during the family survey we sent this fall. Part of this survey specifically asked about school start times. This survey was translated in our top five languages.
2. The District asked for input at our parent teacher conferences. We had an area set up at each school asking specific questions about start times and asked parents to give feedback. This was informal but our hope was to start the conversation and to examine the feedback regarding our current schedule.
3. We sent a survey to all of our staff to ask for input and shared 4 possible bell schedules based on current research and our neighboring districts. On this survey, staff were able to rank their choices and then share their comments and priorities.
4. We sent a survey to all of our parents (the same survey we sent to staff), which included an invite to our community meeting/listening session. This survey was translated in our top 5 languages.
5. We advertised the community meeting/listening session on our website, Facebook and Twitter.
•May 8, from 6:30-8:00pm- the District will host another community meeting/listening session in the South Cafeteria of the David Douglas High School
•April 30-May 11 the District will send out another start/stop time survey for additional family input. For families unable to take the survey online, hard copies will be available at your school office.
•May 21-the District will communicate a brief summary of survey and community meeting results
•June 4-A final start/stop time will be decided on and shared with District community and staff